Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Getting Rid of Turf Infill (Future Cost Considerations)

Council members push for removal of pulverized tires
from city parks


Wednesday, March 26th 2008, 4:00 AM

Three City Council members are pushing to get an
estimated 30 million pounds of pulverized tires out of
city parks, saying there are too many unanswered
health questions about using the material in
artificial turf.

"We shouldn't be taking any risks when it comes to the
health of our children, especially when alternatives
are available," said Councilman Eric Gioia (D-Queens),
who will introduce a bill today with colleagues Maria
Baez (D-Bronx) and Letitia James (WFP-Brooklyn).

The bill would ban any more artificial turf fields
that use tiny bits of "crumb-rubber infill" as a
cushion, and would require existing fields to be torn
up and replaced within a year.

The city Parks Department says the fields are safe,
while standing up to heavy use and costing less to
maintain than grass. Ground-up tires contain heavy
metals such as lead and cadmium as well as volatile
organic compounds and other chemicals.

Turf critic Geoffrey Croft of NYC Park Advocates
estimates there are 130 crumb-rubber fields in the
city with 30 million pounds of tires - which would
cost millions to replace.

"Tests should have been done before any of this got
into our park system," Croft said.